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  1. Here's a round up of Kat's favourite, tried and tested sewing aids from the classroom to help make your sewing projects simpler, quicker and neater!


    Water erasable marking pen

    If you need to mark dots or a hem on a white fabric this pen is essential. It's also great for marking up fabrics like fleece which are almost impossible to draw on with anything else! Just mark then when sewing is completed spray with water from the iron to make it disappear. We love these pens and use them all the time in class. Buy them for £2.35 each in Fabric Land on Western Road in Brighton or £2.75 from the wonderful Jaycotts, online here (postage £1.50 - check out the other bits they sell - great range of sewing supplies at good prices, including the glue basting pen below and the Moon sewing threads we use, 1000m reels for 99p each!!)

     


    The Morplan flexible Grader Ruler

    This is an absolute must have for all sewing and pattern making projects. Mark quick hems (see pic with erasable marker above), seam allowances, darts and more. You will use this endleslessy in your sewing and dressmaking. The Morplan one is the only one worth buying as it's super strong and very flexible and has the best markings, both inches and cm. Try it out during a class with us to see how it's used, then buy it from us for £15 or if you want to buy direct from Morplan it's £11.70 (Min order £20+VAT and postage is £5.95)

     


    Water soluble 'basting' glue pen

    This is another great option for holding edges together instead of hand or machine basting or pinning for sewing - and later it just washes out. We use it in a similar way to the tape, one works better than others depending on the fabric. just get both in your kit and see which is best on each project!

    Buy it from Jaycotts for £2.95 here and also refills here

     


    Double sided water soluble 'basting' tape

    This is amazing stuff for holding edges together (instead of hand sewing or pinning) for ease of machine sewing - and later it just washes out, or you can spray with water it it goes all mushy and can be rubbed off! Students have used it in just the last week in class on oven gloves edging, visible and invisible zips, lace trims, pyjama hems and more.

    Buy a 2 roll pack (absolute bargain!) from Amazon here for £5.99

     

  2. I’m now onto my third project with Sew-in-Brighton (in Hove Actually) ….
     
    Having already accomplished a 1940s style tailor-made dress from just a picture, and a converted kimono jacket, it was time to press on with my next (ad)venture - making a facsimile of my favourite Monsoon velvet devore tunic top.  I learned so many tips along the way, I've shared them below with you.
     
    In the first lesson, in order to create an accurate pattern,  I was instructed to fold my tunic in half lengthways and pin it out onto cross and spot paper.  

    IMG_9172   
     
    This proved to be tricky with the slippery fabric but lots of pins close to the edge helped to secure it in place ready for drawing round the shape.
     
    This procedure was then repeated with the other side of the garment and the sleeves.
     
    Cutting out my new slippery crepe fabric was really difficult so I was advised by Kat, the teacher, to use lots of pins close together to help hold the shape - a very helpful hint!
     
    Prior to sewing the garment together, the neckline was machine stitched to prevent the fabric from stretching.
     
    On the original tunic the seams were first sewn together and then overlocked,  so this procedure was adopted for the new garment, thereby providing a neat, fray-free finish.
     
    I then secured the neckline with matching bias binding to create a neat finish.
     
    20180829_192157          20180829_192215
     
     
    The hemline of the garment was marked out by Kat with the use of a practical device which delineated the bottom line of the hem measured from the floor in chalk.
     
    I decided to hem the bottom of the tunic and sleeves by hand.
     
     IMG_9195
     
    The finished article looked wonderful.  But the crepe fabric I had chosen, had more give in it the dezore fabric of the original garment, so it felt slightly roomier.  The neckline had stretched slightly when I put the binding on and we remedied this by making a coupld of tucks at the front which actually looked great and even improved the design.
     
    Kat recommended if I were to make it again to use fusable or sew-in stay tape before applying the binding to stop the neckline stretching at all.  Not all fabrics need this apparently, stay-stitching is often enough but I had picked a fabric with a lot of give in it.
     
    All of these things have added a new learning curve to my skills and i'm pleased with my new top.  I'm delighted to have the pattern so I can make some more at home.
     
    Jacqui made her top in a few of our weekly Stitch Classes.  Find out more about them here.   
     
    You can also learn these skills in our 1 day workshop - Replicate Your Clothes. 
    View more info/book here
     
    Contact us here with any questions!